Solar-Charged Mopeds!

Gas2 readers may remember the electric mopeds for rent outside train stations in Japan. The phenomenon seems to be spreading – now Tajimi Citi in Gifu Prefecture has launched an initiative to spread awareness of electric vehicles among its populace. The same electric mopeds – the Yamaha EC 03 – will be available for rent in front of the Kokokei JR Station, starting in December.

The committee in charge of the operation, the Tajimi City Electric Bike Leasing Organization, aims to raise awareness of greenhouse gas emissions among those who commute by car. By offering electric mopeds, they hope to help popularize the use of electric vehicles. As gas prices in Japan remain high, the timing seems to be perfect.

The 8 mopeds for rent in front of Kokokei Station are not only zero emission, but are also charged at stations powered by solar panels. The program isn’t limited to just one spot, though. Electric-assist bicycles are available at other JR train stations located throughout the city.

The leasing organization has also planned an “environmental event,” including exhibitions and test drives of its green vehicles, hoping that tourists and students will also take an interest in borrowing or even buying greener transportation.

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Charis Michelsen

spent 7 years living in Germany and Japan, studying both languages extensively, doing translation and education with companies like Bosch, Nissan, Fuji Heavy, and others. Charis has a Bachelor of Science degree in biology and currently lives in Chicago, Illinois. She also believes that Janeway was the best Star Trek Captain.